This briefing paper is intended to provide an overview of recent studies, with analyses of and proposals on European regulation of online hate speech. It will also discuss Council of Europe initiatives and policy measures for combating hate speech and the priorities of Germany’s presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers related to hate speech. Finally, it will look at a selection of approaches and demands made on policymakers by (European) civil society actors involved in fighting hate speech.
Hate speech is a persistent problem in Cyprus and undermines the prospects for peace. This report identifies three main nexuses of public hate speech in both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communitites: intercommunal, inter-alterity and inter-gender. Both social an traditional media outlets lack effective policies and regulation in combatting hate speech incidents. Authorities must update the media regulatory framework and keep pace with the emerging challenges of the online environment. Joint initiatives involving civil society, authorties and law enforcement agencies are needed.
The development of information and communication technologies and, more specifically, social media have redefined the boundaries of free speech. On the one hand, the internet has made possible the sharing of ideas with large audiences all around the world; on the other hand, it helps some intolerant individuals propagate negative and stereotypical assumptions about various groups.
This policy briefing draws on the main findings of the report Public Discourses of Hate Speech in Cyprus: Awareness, Policies and Prevention published by FESCyprus.org, which includes the full references.